Farewell Fete Favorites

Yes, you read that correctly. You might be wondering just where your weekly cocktail is, but we switched things up just a bit to share the bittersweet news of A Feteful Life’s upcoming closure. We’ve been blogging at AFL for almost a year now and love, love what we’ve done in this space. But our lives have grown busier, our plans ever-changing, and so we’ve decided to take a blogging break. But don’t worry. We continue to come up with middle-of-the-night ideas for our future, so we’re sure we might be back some day.

In the meantime, after tomorrow, all the AFL content we’ve posted over the past year will be available right here. Rebecca will continue to blog activities, DIYs, and celebration fun at her family-friendly lifestyle blog, Not-So-SAHM. And Suzanne plans to continue to pursue her love of graphic design and photography.

In celebration of our next to last day, we’ve each combed the AFL files for our Fete Favorites. It was hard task for both of us and we hope the blog has been as much fun and a source of inspiration for you as it has been for us. Thanks so much to all our family and friends (new and old) who have read, commented, and hired us! As always, friends, FETE ON! {and, don’t worry, they’ll be a farewell cocktail tomorrow!}

Rebecca Farewell Fete Favorites 

A Feteful Life: Rebecca Farewell Fete Favorites

celebrate / create / eat / give / love

Suzanne Farewell Fete Favorites 

A Feteful Life: Suzanne's Farewell Favescelebrate / eat / love / create / give

 

Happy New Year and Fete Favorites 2014!

Happy, happy New Year! We hope everyone had a fabulous New Year’s Eve and had a chance to celebrate in whatever manner you love — whether that’s couch surfing the New Year’s shows or dressed up in glitter and out dancing. And either way, we hope you get to spend the first day of the new year doing something wonderful. We’re looking forward to a year full of fete and thought it would be fun to share with you our 2014 Fete Favorites. Here’s to a feteful new year!

Suzanne’s Fete Favorites

A Feteful Life: Suzanne's 2014 Fete Favorites

1. Celebrate  Despite the fact that it has only been a few weeks since we officially started winter, I’m already dreaming of the warmth of late spring and summer. As soon as the temperature starts rising, a backyard movie watching party will be soon to follow. I love this beautifully styled party by DesignSponge.

2. Eat  I know french macarons have been around for a while but I really love them. A friend recently told me about a local cooking class that focuses solely on these sweet confections. I cannot wait to sign up!

3. Create — I’ve always loved the look of hand screened items whether they are on paper or fabric. On my to do list for 2014 is to start learning the art of screen printing. Stay tuned because I’m sure some of my future DIY projects will include this technique.

4. Love — Prior to having kids, my husband and I used to travel a lot. We loved it. We have traveled since having kids but mostly to visit family or to go on mini vacations just to two of us. This year we’ll be traveling a lot more than we have in the last few years and that is making me so very happy. Oh and how gorgeous is this Bric’s Bellagio Luggage? I want it now!!

5. Give — One of my New Year’s resolutions is to make sure I let my friends and family know how blessed I am to have them in my life. I’m starting to design a collection of gift tags to always have on hand just in case I see something that reminds me of them. And because I’m thankful for our readers, I’m giving you three of the labels I designed so you can let your loved knows they are appreciated as well – Just click here.

Rebecca’s Fete Favorites

Rebecca 2014 Fete Favorites

1. Celebrate New Year’s Eve might be over, but I’m not giving up the confetti just yet. I love, love, love the idea of a confetti party, complete with a confetti bar (I love this one from Glitter Guide for Kate Spade NYC) and confetti’d drinks and desserts. I can’t imagine how anyone could keep a smile off their face while surrounded by confetti. This will happen in 2014.

2. Eat one of my absolute most favorite and indulgent anytime meals is a burger topped with a fried egg. I at least typically take it off the bun, but still — it’s a culinary splurge. My favorite local bite is the bloody mary burger from Matchbox, but this one from Susan Spicer’s Bayona with jalapeno and dill pickle slices looks pretty boss, too.

3. Create — I have no idea who I can convince to let me make a metallic fringe backdrop like this one from ConfettiSystem, but I need to make it this year. What the whaaaaat.

4. Love — coffee is most definitely my sixth food group. I try to eat dairy sparingly, so I generally reserve lattes as a weekend treat. They don’t have to look this pretty, but man it’s nice when they do.

5. Give — one of my favorite party details is striped straws with flags. I make them for almost every single party I have — they are super easy, but add such a fun and festive touch. And, seeing as I’m clearly on a metallic/glitter/confetti kick, I made a set of glittery gold flags for you to sparkle in the new year. Just click RIGHT HERE to download your own set of AFL glitter straw flags! Cut the flags out, run a glue stick on the back, and fold around a paper straw. Boom, party in your glass.

Coffee Table Book Roundup

I love a good coffee table book. As a kid I would sit for hours flipping through the pages of my parent’s National Geographic Images of the World book and be transported to other countries and cultures. It’s one of my strongest childhood memories.

I used to be the proud owner of some really beautiful ones myself. That was until my older son began to cruise and start pulling them off the coffee table and rip pages out of them {eek}. Five bookless years later, I think my kids are finally old enough to appreciate their beauty and maybe create their own memories of beautiful things and interesting people. So, I’ve been on the hunt for a new collection and here are some of my favorite finds…

Coffee Table Books

  1. National Geographic Images of the World. This is the book that started my love affair with beautiful books. They don’t publish it anymore but I was able to score a copy on Ebay.
  2. Andy Warhol Portraits. I’ve been a fan of Andy Warhol ever since visiting the Warhol Museum in my hometown of Pittsburgh when I was in high school {it’s awesome, you should go}. The portraits and colors in this book are just amazing.
  3. Knoll: A Modernist Universe. This book – It’s like porn for furniture lovers {i.e., me}. It covers the 75-year history of Knoll, which is one of the most successful high-end furniture companies in the world. Mies van der Rohe, Saarinen, Breuer, Bertoia. I could look at {and dream of owning} this furniture all day.
  4. Humans of New York. This book just came out last month and it quickly shot to the top of the New York Times Best Seller list. Based on the popular blog of the same name by photographer Brandon Stanton. Over 400 images and stories from some of the most interesting everyday people in New York City.
  5. Ai Weiwei: According to What?. Ai Weiwei {designer of the famous “Bird’s Nest” from the 2008 Olympics} is one of China’s most provocative artists and According to What? is Ai’s first major tour in North America. I was lucky enough to visit this exhibit while it was in DC at the Hirshhorn. His work is beautiful and inspiring. This book is a lovely retrospective of the exhibit.
  6. Flotsam. Not a traditional coffee table book, rather it’s a children’s book with beautiful and spellbinding illustrations. My sister-in-law gave this book to my oldest son and it’s one of his favorites. There are no words so kids, both young and old, can enjoy.

Hello! and Fete Favorites

Fete (n.): An elaborate party.

Hello and welcome to A Feteful Life! If life is anything, it is an elaborate party. But we believe it can be celebrated in the simplest of ways. This blog is our place to collect and share ideas to do just that: fete everyday life. Always simple, never plain.

Here you’ll find celebration ideas, yummy things to eat, DIY projects to create, things we love, and {yes!} free printables. To kick off our blog, we wanted to share with you our fete favorites. Are you ready? It’s {always} time to celebrate!

Rebecca’s Fete Favorites

A Feteful Life: Rebecca Fete Favorites

1. Celebrate. I am perpetually trying to convince someone to have a Dia de los Muertos birthday party. It’s in keeping with my love of celebrating all parts of life and I am obsessed with the contrast of black and white popped by blindingly bright colors. Plus, skulls. Yet the holiday just passed again with nary a sugar skull in sight at our house. I’m hoping for next year and I think these sugar skull cookie cookies from SweetWildFlour would be a fabulous addition.

2. Eat. A recent Paleo convert, I love to find ways to satisfy a crunchy snack craving. Kale chips are incredibly addicting and incredibly expensive, particularly if you eat a whole package at once. This homemade recipe for vegan cheesy kale chips has done the trick and even my daughter asks repeatedly for “those seaweed chips.” (I sub coconut aminos for the soy sauce).

3. Create. I’m a firm believer that glitter makes everything better. There are many situations in life where less is more, but I don’t think that glitter is one of them. I’m a DIY glitter maniac and am all over these DIY glittered letters from b.loved.

4. Love. One of the things I love most in life is laughter. My husband {Joel} is one of the funniest people I know and I’ve been known to record the sound of my kids giggling. We’ve recently started this Q&A a day for kids journal and my kids’ answers constantly have me in stitches. You just never know what’s going to come out of their mouths. HIGHLY recommend.

5. Give. I can’t think of a party I’ve styled or a holiday celebrated that hasn’t involved a pennant banner in one form or another. It’s an easy way to add color, spell out a message, decorate a cake, or sprinkle sparkle throughout a room. And I find that I reuse them over and over again. I love this super sweet mini banner from TheTinyCrafter, but you can also make your own from just about anything! BECAUSE we’re giving you a handy pennant banner template. JUST CLICK RIGHT HERE. This template is for a 6 X 6 inch banner piece, but you can change the size by printing it at whatever % scale you want on your printer settings. Just print it on heavy cardstock and trace it on the back of whatever media you’d like to use. Cut the pieces out, follow the guide to cut slits, and string the pieces up. Instant party.

Suzanne’s Fete Favorites

SuzanneFF_3

1. Celebrate. My husband {Jim} is a doughnut fanatic and has consequently converted our kids. Every Saturday morning he loads them in the car and takes them out for doughnuts while I get to sleep in {heaven}. So, in honor of their mutual obsession of this sugary confection I threw my son a doughnut birthday party this year. Hands down it was my favorite party I have ever thrown. It was so simple and yet so indulgent. While I don’t usually repeat parties, I think I may have to make this one a tradition. Next time I’m definitely hitting up Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken for some of these beautiful artisan doughnuts. Yum!

2. Eat. When a big snowstorm is announced on the news, most people flock to the grocery store to load up on essentials. Not me, I rush there to load up on ingredients for recipes that I have been dying to try. Last year we only had one sad little snow day, but that one day resulted in my absolutely favorite bread discovery. In less than 5 minutes of hands on work you can make the most wonderfully crusty and chewy bread. Thank you Jim Lahey and the NY Times for changing my {baking} life.

3. Create. I come from a family that loves to fete. We’re lucky enough to live close to each other so we are always getting together to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc. And, the majority of these celebrations happen at my house. I feel like I’m always hanging up or taking down streamers. When I saw these easy DIY watercolor streamers on dandee, I knew I had to make them for our next celebration.

4. Love. Wine + California = Perfection. I spent 3 magical years in California while I went to design school and during that time I fell totally in love with wine country. Napa, Sonoma, Central Coast, it doesn’t matter – it’s all amazing.  Jim and I have visited a few times since we moved back east and each time I fall even more in love. We were just in Napa in August with some very dear friends and we discovered a new favorite: Larkmead Vineyards. The tour of the vineyards and tasting on the veranda with Sonny is an absolute must.

5. Give. I have a friend that loves sparkling wine. A lot. So when she got married I was racking my brain trying to think of something to give her. I came up with the idea of giving her and her husband bottles of champagne to open on their 6 month, 1 year, and 5 year anniversaries. I created custom gift labels for them in the colors of their wedding. From that point on I started to make these wine labels for other weddings and hostess gifts. And because I love giving them so much, I decided to give you two free printable thank you wine labels. One round which works perfectly with these Paper Source label sheets and one square which you can print on full sheet label paper. Click here for the circle template OR click here for the square template.